Since I have started working full-time on a new job and have a longer commute, and I like to spend the hours when I am at home with my daughter, I have neglected both this blog and baking for a while.

With a child in the house both my wife and I tend to make recipes we know so they do not require so much focus, but by doing that we risk getting set in our habits, only eating the same kinds of bread, the same kinds of things for dinner, for the next many, many years. So in order to break free of that, we have agreed to make something new each week – my wife will make a new recipe for dinner, and I will bake something I do not usually bake.

For last week I delved into the ‘not entirely white bread’ recipes in Jeffrey Hamelman’s book ‘Bread’ and found this German recipe for sunflower seed bread. I am, personally, a bit so-so with sunflower seeds, but my wife absolutely loves them, so I figured why not. We will need lots and lots of sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seeds

We will also need a rye chop soaker and a pâte fermentée to add to the final dough.

Sunflower soaker and pâte

The mixed dough is fairly reminiscent of the white doughs from Hamelman’s book, just a bit less ‘extremely sticky’.

Sunflower dough

Now, the recipe calls for a good long bake of 40 minutes at 240°C, which seems to be a bit too much, so I would suggest turning the heat about 10–20°C down after 20 minutes (when I look at the recipe again, Hamelman actually also suggests this).

Traditionally, the Sonnenblumenbrot is moistened on top and dipped into non-roasted sunflower seeds, however since I am not too keen on too many sunflower seeds, I opted to skip this part. It is still, all in all, a very wholesome bread with a beautiful crust, and a nice crumb with bite, due to the sunflower seeds, and a slight sweetness, due to the rather large, in my opinion, amount of malt syrup that goes into the dough as well.

Sunflower bread

Very excellent with jam.